‘When life throws you lemons’, the popular adage says, ‘make lemonade.’ If it throws you tomatoes, make tomato stew, and if it throws you oranges, you already know what to do with those. Point is, life and living may be a bit of a ride, but there are folks across the continent whose success story is akin to riding an obstacle course; but succeed they have!
Kenyan Beatrice Ndung’u dropped out of the Nairobi School of Business Studies in 2007 when her college fees became a burden, but she had harboured her dream far too long to be dissuaded from her path by the lack of money.
Her dream? To own a media house that would be a tool of change in her society, and in her twenties, Beatrice is on the fast track to achieving her set goals.
From the days when she aspired to become a newscaster to owning her own advertising agency – Global Essence Media- and her own online radio station-Sema Radio- Beatrice is a study in tenacity of purpose.
Following the unfortunate-or not so- unfortunate period when she had to drop out of school, Beatrice spent her free time drafting her business plans and writing articles sequel to the launch of her online magazine. She would not be deterred. She boldly sourced for funds to embark on her project and she received her first cheque which she utilised in renting office space and computers.
Marketing was hands-on; she sought to attend VIP events which would give her access to those she needed to meet. The rest they say, is history.
Today, Beatrice is an experienced Media Practitioner and an African Development Ambassador. Her expertise and focus in utilising the media to change the African narrative and influence the youth has been recognised across the continent. She has been invited to speak at several conferences including the Broadcast Film Conference Africa in 2013 and 2014, the London Art Diplomacy Conference 2013, the Social Media Week Lagos as an Ambassador in 2014, and is a regular Guest Speaker on Media at the Rotary Clubs in Kenya. She will also be a part of the Creative Women in Media Summit holding May 2015.
Beatrice has propounded the gospel of the internet: “The internet has become an important part of our lives in many ways. From online dating to e-commerce, people have discovered ways to do almost everything on the internet. This includes listening to the radio online. There’s plenty of innovation in Africa – it just isn’t as widely reported as it should be. People in the West still see Africa as a struggling continent, and reports of new businesses and markets rising up are few and far between in Western media. There’s a wealth of talent out here, especially in the tech sector. It’s very exciting to see the enterprising minds out there, pioneering African business and commerce. Exciting times are ahead for African entrepreneurs!” she stated in an interview with under35ceo.
Beatrice is much more than a media entity in the making though. She is also the founder of the Young Media Foundation, a non-profit organization in Kenya, whose main mission is to give young people the tools and skills to make their voices heard. Young Media Foundation aims to play an effective role in the development of communications as a major instrument for continental building and a vital element in the socio-economic development process. Its projects have included art therapy for sick children, Bricks for School, which aims to create sustainable models in rural areas to alleviate poverty and create employment by building schools out of bricks. SEMA radio is also an initiative of the Young Media Foundation and is a tool for youth empowerment.
Today, Global Essence has expanded to include a creative department, an online magazine and a production department, providing jobs and training opportunities.
Her words on marble, “Many people think that women cannot get far. But doors are open for you; all you need to do is take the initiative. Be determined and ambitious; know what you want and do not apologise for it. Everyone can do something, the difference is that some people take the initiative and others don’t.” She stated in an interview with Biz4Africa.